An integrated craft and design approach for wearable orthoses

Bush, Peta and Ten Hompel, Simone (2017) An integrated craft and design approach for wearable orthoses. Design for Health, 1 (1). pp. 86-104. ISSN 2473-5140


This article examines the design of orthoses, current approaches to their design are dominated by a biomedical approach that fails to address the biopsychosocial impact upon the wearer, often resulting in low adherence to the device. The case study, described in this paper, promotes a design-for-care ethos that incorporates co-design methods and craft sensibility to the design process. Patients become co-designers in a crafts-based workshop at the front-end of the design process. Using craft techniques, they share narratives regarding well-being and wearing orthoses. A hybrid approach was employed to analyse the data, which then informs and inspires the design process, and which identifies those design factors that affect the wearability of worn objects. The data analysis leads to the development of Therapeutic Jewellery; a hybrid object that sits at the intersection of medical science and contemporary jewellery, and is person-centric in its design and service. The project culminates with a body of work, including prototypes and finished artefacts, developed using traditional and digital technologies; and which has relevance for contemporary jewellery, design and healthcare.

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